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Extreme Programming Installed 1st Edition

33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342708424
ISBN-10: 0201708426
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Preface How much would you pay for a software development team that would do what you want? Wait, don't answer yet--what if they could also tell you how much it would cost, so that you could decide what to do and what to defer, on your way to your deadline? You also get quality software, a robust array of tests that support the project through its entire lifecycle, and an up-to-date, clear view of project status. Best of all, you get the ability to change your mind about what you want, at any time.

There aren't any silver bullets in software development, and there probably never will be. However, Extreme Programming is a simple set of common-sense practices that, when used together, really can give you much of what you just read in the paragraph above. In this book, we tell you what the XP practices are, and how to install them in your project.

We are software developers. We have been involved in many successful projects, and even in some that weren't so successful. The successful ones were a lot more fun, for us, and for our customers. The unsuccessful ones have taught us a great deal about software development.

We have had the privilege of working on a great project, with a great teacher, Kent Beck. We helped shape the software process named Extreme Programming, XP for short. Since then, we have been helping everyone who will listen to learn from our experience.

The first book in the Extreme Programming series, Extreme Programming Explained , covers the reasoning behind the XP process. Based on our experience on the original XP project (and others), this book describes what makes XP work, day to day and month to month.

Successful software development is a team effort--not just the development team but the larger team consisting of customers, management, and developers. Extreme Programming is a simple process that brings these people together and helps them to succeed together. XP is aimed primarily at object-oriented projects using teams of a dozen or fewer programmers in one location. We would use XP for both in-house development and development of shrink-wrapped software. The principles of XP apply to any moderately sized project that needs to deliver quality software rapidly and flexibly.

XP is about balancing the needs of customers with the abilities of programmers, and about steering (managing the project to success). If you're a customer, a programmer, or a manager, here's what this book offers you:

Customers--who have software that needs to be developed: you will learn simple, effective ways to communicate what you need, to be sure that you are getting what you need, and to steer the project to success. You will learn that you can change your mind and still get what you need on time.

Programmers--who, on an XP project, define the architecture, design the system, and write the tests and the code that support them: you will learn how to deliver business value quickly, how to deal with changing requirements, and how to build customer confidence and support. You will learn to build for tomorrow by building only what you need today.

Managers--who control the project resources: you will learn how to measure project progress, how to measure quality, and how to answer the all-important question, "When will you be done?" You will learn an important truth of management--to use the programmers' actual performance to predict completion.

Customers, programmers, and managers must all work together to build the system that's needed. Chapter 1, Extreme Programming, will describe the roles, rights, and responsibilities, and provide a road map for the book. Dig right in. We're sure that the XP practices can improve your projects, as they have ours.


From the Back Cover

  • Software that performs required tasks and meets expectations
  • Accurate estimation of time to completion and cost of development
  • The opportunity to decide which features to include and which to defer
  • Frequent small releases that incorporate continual customer feedback
  • Constant integration and automated testing that insures clean code and robust performance

These are some of the many benefits of Extreme Programming (XP), a software development approach especially geared for smaller teams facing vague or rapidly changing requirements. Despite the "extreme" in its name, XP actually reduces risks--the risk of putting out software that is faulty, out of date at its release, over budget, or not fully capable of performing the tasks for which it was intended. Initially considered radical, XP has proven itself successful and is entering the mainstream of software development. The greatest challenge now facing software development managers and engineers is how to implement this beneficial approach.

Extreme Programming Installed explains the core principles of Extreme Programming and details each step in the XP development cycle. This book conveys the essence of the XP approach--techniques for implementation, obstacles likely to be encountered, and experience-based advice for successful execution.

You will learn the best approaches to
  • Working with an on-site customer
  • Defining requirements with user "stories"
  • Estimating the time and cost of each story
  • Delivering small, frequent releases
  • Performing constant integration and frequent iterations
  • Running design sessions to help programmers move forward with confidence
  • xUnit automated testing
  • Handling defects in the fast-paced, team-oriented XP environment
  • How to refine estimates and steer the development effort through frequent changes

The authors present the personal reflections of those who have been through the eXtreme Programming experience. Readers will benefit from first hand accounts of hard-won wisdom on topics such as the art of estimation, managing development infrastructure, solving problems without finger-pointing, the importance of simplicity, and how to introduce modern development tools into an environment where none existed.



Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201708426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201708424
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sam Gentile on December 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am writing a new review. I mentioned, in my previous review, that I am acknowledged in the credits as having contributed, but I don't think I wrote a clear review. In a nutshell, this is one of the few programming books I keep right next to my keyboard for sound advice on Unit Testing and a variety of software construction, even though the company I am at does not do full XP (yet). The book assumes you have bought the concepts in "Extreme Programming Explained." While that is a great book, it is theory and one is still left with "Well, how do I do it?" This book shows you step by step. One of the problems I had in the previous book and on the Web, was understanding User Stories and User Story Estimation. This book leads you through the process. One of the wonderful things about Extreme Programming is that it is a lightweight, yet rigorous process. In this day of huge process like CMM and ISO9000, which most programmers totally reject, XP is light enough and common sense enough to be adopted. In fact, many of the pratcices in this book are totally useful even if you have not totally adopted XP. Example: At my current company, we need to add Unit Tests fast. This book gave me the step by step procedures to do just that. The book covers in detail all the XP practices with examples. One of the only downfalls of the book is that a lot of the examples are in Smalltalk, a language that the authors favor, but few use. I had a hard time with the examples, however I finally understood them, and there is a Java section. Overall, XP is a revolution in software development and this book is the guide!
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Lee on October 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the second(or was it the third?) book in the XP series. If you are a manager, try to decide whether to use XP, try the "XP Explained" book instead. This book is for people who buy the concept of XP, and wants to know how to implement it in their workplace. But this book is definitely beneficial to anyone, as they are applicable everyday, even if you are not practising XP.
While books like "The Unified Software Development Process" left me in a complete daze, XP Installed leads me step by step on how to go about doing XP. An good example would be getting "User Stories"(comparable to Use Case), XP Installed teaches you what a "User Story" is, and how to go about writing one.
This book is again, of the correct size, easy for carrying around. The authors wrote the book in a concise, no-nonsense matter. There's never a case of you seeing merry-go-rounds :) Unlike other books, this book was previously released to the XP community for reading, feedback and suggestions. The result of it, is a better XP book minus all the flaws which could have been left undetected.
This book is a must-have for your bookshelf.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Once the theory has been assimilated, it comes time to execute. From the theoretical side, Extreme Programming(XP) is intuitively obvious. However, as we all know, theory and practice sometimes have only a passing acquaintance. Implementing and maintaining the principles of XP requires many traits, some of which are all to rare.
Since XP does not allow for the slipping of a deadline, it is sometimes necessary for someone to summon up a good deal of courage. It may be necessary to go to a supervisor and lay the cards on the table and say you can't have it all. Since those cards would contain a list of the requested features, this is guaranteed to make you unpopular. If that supervisor is one whose idea of motivation is to raise the level of fear and hours of uncompensated overtime, then it could be your last act at that company. That possibility is the one area where I have concerns about this book and XP in general. To implement it requires the commitment of all persons in the chain of command. If at any point someone at one level gives up the faith, then it is hard to see how it can be recovered.
This book is a story of how XP looks when it is being used as described. Although somewhat idealistic in its premise of forty hour weeks, limited overtime and keeping the goals within reach, there is no doubt that as described here, it does work. In fact, to most programmers, it sounds like the ideal work environment. For some time, I have pondered the choice of the word extreme to describe this mode of programming. After reading this book, I now understand why it is applicable. Using the XP method to build software requires extreme commitment from all parties to the endeavor. From the customer to the programmers up to the highest levels of management, everyone must believe in it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Zane Parks on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Extreme Programming (XP) is a software development methodology. This is no ivory tower, academic exercise; the authors have used XP on large-scale projects and seen it work. This book is an introduction to XP for programmers. Chapters tend to be short and easily digested. The language is somewhat casual.
XP advocates unit testing and code review. Okay, what's so extreme about that? Unit tests are fundamental to the process. Tests are frequently written before the code to be tested. There should be a test for anything that could possibly break. Tests are run frequently and must run at 100% before integrating code. Note that refactoring (see Martin Fowler's "Refactoring") is an XP practice and is sensible only where there is an extensive collection of tests. Code review takes the form of pair programming. That is, two programmers sitting side-by-side, one driving and the other paying close attention to the task at hand. So, it's continuous code review.
Some of the other practices are simple design, coding standard, continuous integration, small releases and forty-hour week. All of the practices are directed toward simple, quality code with the highest business value (as determined by the customer) written against milestone deadlines that become increasingly accurately gauged.
I highly recommend this book. I would expect other experienced programmers to react as I do that XP makes good sense. It may be difficult to sell, but it is worth the effort.
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